Chunuk Bair: Centenary Anzac Day service at the New Zealand Memorial, April 25th 2015 (Photo: Crown Copyright © NZDF)

Gallipoli: Australia & New Zealand to remember August 1915 offensive

Posted on on 01 August 2015
Share |

Australia and New Zealand are to hold commemorations in August 2015 marking the 100th anniversary of the last major Allied offensive at Gallipoli.

The Australian service will be held on August 6th at Lone Pine Cemetery on the Turkish peninsula.

New Zealanders will gather at the Chunuk Bair Memorial on August 8th to remember their forces' role in the last major Allied attempt to break out of the beachheads in 1915.

Neither service will be balloted or ticketed but visitors are asked to register their intention to attend. Full details of the events can be found on the Australian and New Zealand Gallipoli 2015 websites. 

New Zealand Veterans' Affairs Minister, Craig Foss, said: “Chunuk Bair was the site of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force’s most significant action during the Gallipoli campaign,” 

“Hundreds of Kiwi soldiers fought and died in an ultimately futile bid for control of this strategic vantage point.

“The centenary service on August 8 will honour those soldiers for their bravery and sacrifice.”

The Battle for Chunuk Bair was also notable as the first major engagement of the Maori Contingent.

Anzac veterans in front of the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine on April 25th 1965, the 50th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings (Photo © IWM CHR 77) 

August 1915 

The August offensive was a concerted attempt to end more than three months of deadlock at Gallipoli, a campaign aimed at knocking Turkey out of the First World War

Allied forces were still confined to the beaches where they'd landed on April 25th 1915.

A series of attacks was launched on August 6th, with the aim of capturing the heights of Sari Bair dominating the peninsula above Anzac Cove.

Australian, New Zealand, British, Irish and Gurkha troops were involved in the operation, which also saw a new British landing at Suvla Bay to the north of Anzac Cove.

The Australians stormed Turkish trenches at Lone Pine to divert attention from the main assault, taking control after four days of fierce fighting. 

New Zealanders occupied the summit of Chunuk Bair on August 8th. Two days later, it was recaptured as part of an Ottoman counter-attack, led by Mustafa Kemal, that drove the allies back from the heights.

The Australians held Lone Pine until the evacuation of Allied forces from Gallipoli in December 1915.

Detailed accounts of the August offensive at Gallipoli can be found on the websites of the Australian War Memorial, the New Zealand Government's NZ History, and the Gallipoli Association

Images: Crown Copyright © NZDF (Chunuk Bair); Imperial War Museum © IWM CHR 77 (Lone Pine 1965) 

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News